15 people missing after Kenya building collapse

Emergency personnel work at the scene after a building collapsed in a residential area of Nairobi, Kenya June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Rescue workers said that 15 people had been reported missing after a seven-storey building collapsed in a residential area of the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Tuesday.

Reuters photographers on the scene, in the eastern Nairobi suburb known as Pipeline, saw a pile of broken concrete blocks and bent metal.

An excavator was moving rubble.

Officials said the building’s occupants had been asked to leave once it developed cracks.

“Basically this was a disaster to come. An evacuation was sounded. People evacuated but we might have some people who might have been left behind,” Pius Masai, deputy director of the National Disaster Management Unit, told Reuters at the site of the collapse.

Japheth Koome, Nairobi County police commander, said a specialised team from the Kenya Defence Forces had been called in to help with the rescue operations.

Kenya has seen similar tragedies in the past.

A total of 49 people died in the middle of 2016 when another building collapsed during a heavy, nighttime downpour in a poor neighbourhood.


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